The following is a report from Roland Gaebler about the ISAF Multihull Evaluation in Santander as reported to Sail-World:
What a great place to sail! Inshore with flat water and tactical challenges and offshore with real waves and nice surf. The Club did an amazing job. It is one of the best places for sailing we’ve ever seen with nice facilities, brilliant beaches and snow on the mountains. We missed the strong winds and the big waves to test the material at its the limit, but it was good to have all the sailors feedback about what they likes or not about the Tornado.
We were especially interested in the comments from the women; how they like the sportive challenge of the boat. At the helm no one has any problems holding the carbon tiller and some of the ladies won the practice races ahead of us. In minutes they got familiar with the boat and brought it to max speed in a very short time. They can feel the difference and the high quality of the Tornado.
As crew, some said it was easy with the kite and mainsheet while some others said it was too hard to handle the sheet loads. It was great to get this feedback and comments from the sailors because for us it’s normal and we have the muscles to handle the loads. But we think this is exactly the point. If a boat is too easy to handle, it does not deserve to be at the top sport event of the World. The Olympics are for the very best athletes and it should be offer sportive challenge that you train for.
Nahid Gaebler (Tornado crew, 44 years old) is a normal woman with no special fitness training, and she easily handles the sheet loads of the Tornado in up to 30 knots of wind. But we listened and took the comments from the test sailors very seriously and are now re-thinking what we can do to face the critics. We found some solutions after asking our technical partners Harken and Ronstan and may change the sheetsystem from the gennacker (which is actually direct 1:1 with two automatic ratches) with an extra block and make it 1:2. Also the mainsheet (which is actually 1:8) we can change with only one extra block to 1:12. This way it will make it 50% easier on the gennacker sheet and 33% easier on the mainsheet without having too much extra sheet length.
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